Business Intelligence Education

Jack G. Zheng
Asking for a bit of help please :)
I am looking to network through you to see if you know anyone within your
networking circle that may be looking for one of the following job opportunities in a
full-time permanent capacity (Salary up to $135K (for the right individual w/ possible
sign-on bonus) + Benefits) in the Alpharetta, GA area:
BI Analyst
BI Developer
BI Architect
ETL Informatica Developer
My client is a $10B firm that is rapidly growing and using cutting edge technology.
Executive IT Recruiter
The Intersect Group
What is BI?
What is the job prospects of BI?
Why should higher education care about BI?
What are the ways to offer BI education?
How’s BI education in Metro Atlanta?
Business Intelligence is a set of methods,
processes, architectures, applications, and
technologies that transform raw data into
meaningful and useful information used to
enable more effective strategic, tactical, and
operational insights and decision-making.
- Forrester
Data management
Data analysis
Presentation and delivery
(Business) Applications
◦ Data warehouse, data integration, data modeling, etc.
◦ Query, OLAP, analytics, data mining, etc.
◦ Reports, business information visualization, dashboards,
◦ Portal, knowledge management, web/mobile platform,
◦ Market research, strategic planning, budgeting,
performance management, CRM, etc.
Market growth
Job demand
Growing student interests
◦ Forrester Research expects the BI market to generate
more than $12 billion in revenue in 2014, vs. $8.5
billion in 2008.
◦ BI software tops the list of technology priorities for
companies since 2007 (first from 2007 to 2009); only 27
percent of CIOs believe that they have the right number
of skilled people to meet business needs – Gartner EXP
CIO survey.
◦ BI Congress survey
◦ My own experience
Data from BI Congress Survey 2010
Business skills requirements
Technical skill requirements
◦ Generate standard or custom reports summarizing business,
financial, or economic data for review by executives, managers,
clients, and other stakeholders.
◦ Analyze competitive market strategies through analysis of related
product, market, or share trends.
◦ Collect business intelligence data from available industry reports,
public information, field reports, or purchased sources.
◦ Maintain library of model documents, templates, or other reusable
knowledge assets.
◦ Create business intelligence tools or systems, including design of
related databases, spreadsheets, or outputs.
◦ Maintain or update business intelligence tools, databases,
dashboards, systems, or methods.
◦ Provide technical support for existing reports, dashboards, or
other tools.
Data from BI Congress Survey 2010
Data from BI Congress Survey 2010
Data from BI Congress Survey 2010
Gartner Reports:
◦ By 2012, business units will control at least 40 per
cent of the total budget for BI.
◦ IT divisions excel at building BI infrastructure; but
business users have lost confidence in the ability of
them to deliver the information they need to make
◦ Business units drive analysis and performance
management initiatives, mainly using spreadsheets
plus analytic and packaged business applications to
automate the process.
A combination of business knowledge and BI tool training
Understanding of the business
◦ Prepared student with solid business background
◦ Incorporate real world application domains and cases, like
marketing, finance, sales, etc.
Effectively use IT tools
◦ Spreadsheet-based analysis and reporting is still common
◦ OLAP application is common in today’s business to work with
large quantity of data
◦ Work with multiple heterogeneous data sources
◦ Business information presentation (through charting and
dashboard tools) is important
◦ Use the right tool to design and deliver reports
◦ Rely on IT tools for advanced analytics
content in existing non-BI courses
tracks, concentrations, or minors
certificate/degree programs
Data from BI Congress Survey 2010
Introductory/overview course
Courses that focus on a particular BI component
Management oriented courses
Advanced/specialized topics
◦ Data: data warehouse, data modeling, data integration
◦ Analysis: business analytics, statistics, data mining
◦ Presentation: report design, business information
visualization, dashboards
◦ BI delivery/management
◦ Domain specific BI: finance, CRM/marketing, performance
management, web analytics, etc.
◦ Knowledge management and systems
◦ Visual analytics
Saint Joseph’s University: undergraduate minor in
BI, and MS in BI
The University of Northern Virginia: Master of
Business Intelligence
Texas Tech University: MSBA BI
University of Denver: MSBI
Foundation (prerequisite) courses
An example BI track (3 to 4 courses)
An example BI program (6 to 8 courses)
◦ Database, system analysis, business analysis
◦ 1 BI overview course
◦ 1 or 2 courses focusing on a BI component
◦ 1 domain specific course
◦ 2 to 3 core courses: BI overview, OLAP and query
◦ 3 to 4 specialized courses
 Analysis/management track: business information visualization,
performance management, knowledge management, health informatics,
financial modeling, etc.
 Technical/development track: data warehouse, data mining, report and
dashboard design, BI system development.
◦ 1 or 2 selective courses on advanced/special topics
Academic resources
◦ Teradata University Network
◦ BI Congress
Industry software
Data from BI Congress Survey 2010
GATech: no major courses known
Mercer: none
◦ Business college: 2 or 3 courses that focused on analytics (using spreadsheets)
◦ CS: courses focused on database and data mining
◦ Business college: a general BI course and a data mining course is offered as electives
in the management science department (both under and graduate level)
◦ CS: focused on data mining and artificial intelligence
◦ Engineering oriented; very few business oriented courses; a few courses focused on
data management
◦ A track with 2 courses focused on data warehouse and data mining (electives)
BI is a discipline that combines the skills in
business and information technology
BI market is growing as well as the job
Very few educational resources are provided
in metro Atlanta universities
Wixom, B. H. and T. Ariyachandra (2011). State of
Business Intelligence in Academia 2010, BI
Congress II.
D. J. Power, A Brief History of Decision Support
Systems, version 4.1
Gartner reports and new release
Forrester, Topic Overview: Business Intelligence

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